Maternal and Child Health Handbook (boshi techo)
Those who become pregnant should obtain a pregnancy notification (ninshin todokede) at a clinic/hospital and submit it to the health center in their local ward, which will issue a Maternal and Child Health Handbook (boshi techo) as well as a General Health Check-up Card for Pregnant Mothers and explain prenatal checkups, prenatal classes and the like.
The handbook must be brought to every clinic/hospital visit. It is used for recording health checkups during pregnancy and the history of the baby’s growth, and should be kept in a safe place. Handbooks in foreign languages are also available.
Maternal and Child Health Handbook
Prenatal checkups (General Health Check-ups for Pregnant Mothers)
Those who become pregnant should undergo prenatal checkups at a clinic/hospital or midwifery home to ensure their and their baby’s health. Part of the medical fees incurred for up to 14 prenatal checkups are subsidized. Present the General Health Check-up Card for Pregnant Mothers when checking in at a clinic/hospital or midwifery home.
Note: General Health Check-up Cards for Pregnant Mothers are distributed to those with a registered address in Sapporo.
These classes provide opportunities for expecting mothers to interact with other prospective mothers and enjoy learning about life during pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. These classes are also open to prospective fathers.
Note: Currently, online prenatal classes are also provided to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Contacts for inquiries:
A Baby is on the Way!
The booklet “A Baby is on the Way!” is available, providing information on childcare for expecting parents and those with a baby up to the age of one.
Information on childbirth and childcare is also among the Multilingual Materials published by the Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation.
Birth notification, resident registration, Individual Number (My Number)
When a child is born, a birth notification must be filed with the Citizen Registration Section of the ward office within 14 days of the birth (for more information, visit the “Registering births” page). Upon submission of a birth notification, the newborn baby will be registered as a resident and provided an Individual Number (My Number). A My Number Notification Card is sent by simple registered mail approximately one month later.
My Number Notification Card (City of Sapporo)
Reporting to the health center
Inform your local health center of the birth by mailing the postcard contained in the Maternal and Child Health Handbook. A public health nurse from the health center will visit your home to check on the growth of the child and offer consultation on childcare and explanations of child checkups conducted at the center.
Enrollment in health insurance
For those enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program
Enroll your child in the National Health Insurance Program.
Note: You must complete the procedures within 14 days of the birth including the date of birth (“National Health Insurance” page).
For those enrolled in an employee health insurance program
Enroll your child in your workplace’s health insurance program.
Note: In principle, enroll before the one-month checkup.
Reporting to the embassy
When both parents are foreign nationals, their child cannot obtain Japanese nationality even if s/he was born in Japan. Report the child’s birth to the relevant embassy or consulate in Japan.
Consulates and foreign government related offices in Sapporo(City of Sapporo)
Embassies and Consulates in Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Application for a Residence Card
When both parents are foreign nationals (see the next section if either or both parents are special permanent residents), they must prepare prescribed documents and complete all required procedures at the Regional Immigration Services Bureau within 30 days of the child’s birth.
Application for the acquisition of a visa or a status of residence (Immigration Services Agency of Japan),Japanese
Application for permission for special permanent residence
When either or both parents are special permanent residents, they can apply for permission for special permanent residence within 60 days of the child’s birth. This application can also be made when a birth notification is submitted.
Child health checkups and inoculation
Children can receive free regular health checkups and vaccinations (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, BCG) at the health center. (Vaccinations other than the BCG vaccine can be given at a designated clinic/hospital.)
General information on vaccinations (City of Sapporo)
Japanese and English version of the vaccination questionnaire
To receive vaccinations, you must fill out a vaccination questionnaire for your child and submit it to the facility where your child will receive the vaccination.
The Japanese version of the questionnaire can be found in the “vaccination handout” (yobo sesshu no shiori), but you may use the English-Japanese questionnaires created by the Sapporo English Medical Interpreters’ Group (SEMI Sapporo).
- English-Japanese vaccination questionnaires (SEMI Sapporo)
Parenting seminars & consultations for foreign parents
The Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation holds seminars and consultation sessions on parenting for foreign parents raising children in Sapporo.
Online Communication Salon for Foreign Parents "Mogu-mogu Oshaberi"（held on Sep. 16 & Dec. 4 by SICPF）
For foreign parents raising children in Sapporo, the online communication event was held in September and December, 2021.
Videos of the seminar by a nutritionist (Bureau for the Future of Children, City of Sapporo) on the weaning food and early childhood are available on YouTube.
Child-rearing Support (Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation)
Emergency numbers in the event of sudden illness or injury
Subsidies and allowances
Child medical assistance program
Medical expense payments are reduced for those with children registered as Sapporo residents who are covered by health insurance and have not graduated from junior high school. The self-pay ratio is determined by the age of the children and the level of parental income.
Apply at the Welfare Subsidy Division in the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office in advance to receive a child medical care card (kodomo iryohi jukyusha-sho) that must be presented along with the health insurance card to receive medical care at clinics/hospitals.
Child medical assistance program (City of Sapporo)
Medical aid for premature infants
For premature infants requiring hospitalization, necessary medical benefits at designated clinics/hospitals are provided. Complete all required procedures at the health center before your baby is discharged to receive a premature infant medical aid ticket (yoiku iryo-ken) that must be presented to the hospital along with the health insurance card.
Medical aid for premature infants (City of Sapporo)
Child allowance (Jidou teate)
Child allowances are offered to those raising children who are registered as Sapporo residents up until the first March 31 after the child’s 15th birthday. The allowance will be issued the month following the completion of application procedures at the Welfare Subsidy Division in the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office (there are income-based limitations).
People receiving a child allowance must submit a report on present circumstances (genkyo todoke) every June.
Child allowance (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
Lump-sum birth allowance
Those covered under the national health insurance program are eligible to receive a lump-sum birth allowance of 420,000 yen per child upon birth. If you are enrolled in employee health insurance, check with your employer.
Lump-sum birth allowance (City of Sapporo)
Domestic waste collection fee exemption
Designated waste disposal bags for the period up until your child turns two years old are provided as a one-time benefit. A disposal bag exchange ticket (postcard), which specifies the number of bags provided and the location where they are provided, will be sent to each eligible household by the middle of the second month following the month in which the birth notification (or Address Change Notification) is submitted. (You can choose either 10 or 20 liter bags, but whichever size you choose, their total maximum volume is 2,000 liters.) Please exchange the ticket for disposal bags at your nearest post office, which is specified on the ticket.
Domestic waste collection fee exemption system (City of Sapporo)
Child-care allowance (Jidou fuyo teate)
Child-care allowances are offered to parents or guardians who are not sharing income due to divorce or other reasons while raising children until the end of the first March after the child’s 18th birthday (19 years old or younger for children with disabilities). There are income-based limitations. Follow all required procedures at the Welfare Subsidy Division in the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office.
People receiving a child-care allowance must submit a report on present circumstances (genkyo todoke) every August.
Child-care allowance (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
Assistance in medical fees for single-parent families and orphans
For children of single-parent families and orphans, and the parent of single-parent families, part of medical fees will be subsidized. To receive this assistance, the necessary procedures must be undertaken at the Welfare Subsidy Division in the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office.
Assistance in medical fees for single-parent families and orphans (City of Sapporo)
Special child-care allowance (Tokubetsu jidou fuyo teate)
This allowance is provided to people raising children with physical or mental disabilities.
Special child-care allowance (City of Sapporo)
For other subsidies and allowances, see the Sapporo Childcare Guide.
Day care centers and kindergartens
Day care centers, centers for early childhood education and care (day care center section), community-based childcare programs
These are facilities that provide daytime care for infants and other preschool children (admission to community-based childcare programs: under three years old) whose parents are in need of day care due to their work, illness or other reasons. Applications for registration must be submitted at the relevant health center.
"Applying to Public Daycare Centers "（Online seminar held on October 8, 2021 hosted by SICPF with a guest speaker from the City of Sapporo）
A seminar was held for parents of foreign nationals who are considering the use of daycare centers.
The staff from the Sappro City (Bureau for the Future of Children) explained about the basic information on the different types of daycare centers and how to make an application. The seminar video is now available on YouTube.
Information on registering for day care centers etc.
The following documents provide information on day care center programs and registration procedures:
- Procedures to register for childcare facilities such as day care centers (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
- Community-based childcare programs (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
Support for Child Education（Cabinet Office, Government of Japan）
Children aged 3 to 5 years old who use kindergartens, daycare centers and centers for early childhood education and care, and children aged 0 to 2 years old whose parents are exempt from residential tax will be able to use these services free of charge.
Sapporo Community Interpreters
The Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation dispatches Sapporo Community Interpreters for free to help with procedures such as those at day care centers and health centers. To use this service, contact the Foundation by at least five days prior to the day you want an interpreter to be dispatched.
Temporary care services are available on a daily basis at some day care centers, kindergartens, centers for early childhood education and care, and the Day Care & Child-rearing Support Center in individual wards (Cheerful) (reservations required). To use the services, contact the facility where you want your child to be taken care of.
Temporary care for children (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
Kindergartens, centers for early childhood education and care (kindergarten section)
These are educational facilities for preschool children three years old and older. Certification from the municipal office is required to enroll in some kindergartens and the kindergarten sections of centers for early childhood education and care. For details, please contact the facility directly.
Childcare support facilities
With gymnastics rooms, libraries and playrooms, these facilities offer opportunities for children to spend time freely. Preschool children must be accompanied by an adult. These facilities also provide families raising children with opportunities to exchange information and make friends. They are open from 8:45 to 18:00, Monday through Saturday.
＊Currently, the use of these facilities is limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Child Care General Support Center, Regional Day Care & Child-rearing Support Center (Cheerful)
These facilities provide preschool children, their families and prospective parents with a place to play together and interact with each other. They also offer consultations, information, and classes on childcare.
Note: Currently, the use of these facilities is limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Sapporo Child Care General Support Center (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
- Regional Day Care & Child-rearing Support Center (Cheerful) (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
The childcare salon is a place where preschool children, their families and prospective parents get together to interact with each other.
Childcare salons (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
City of Sapporo
Childcare Information Site / Childcare App
The City of Sapporo provides a website and app containing useful information for families with expecting mothers and those with preschool children. You can easily search by age or region on the website and in the app to find information suitable for your situation.
Sapporo Childcare Guide
The booklet entitled “Sapporo Childcare Guide” details the systems in place for raising children in Sapporo and related facilities.
Childcare Information Center “Kosodate Information” (Childcare Support Section in each ward)
At the Childcare Information Center located in each ward to support child-rearing, nursery teachers provide consultations on childcare, offering information on necessary services, contacts and specialized institutions. The center also has a kids’ space.
Kosodate Information (Sapporo Childcare Information Site), Japanese
- Living and Work Guidebook for Foreigners: Childbirth and Parenting (Immigration Services Agency of Japan)
- For Your Well-being during Pregnancy and Delivery brochure(Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
- Brochure on developmental disorders for foreign parents raising children in Japan in different languages (National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities)
- Multilingual Materials (Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation)